BASKETBALL PREVIEW: No. 12 Tennessee vs. Georgia Southern

By Justin Clemmer

Photo Credit: Andrew Ferguson/Tennessee Athletics

WHO: No. 12 Tennessee Volunteers (6-3) vs. Georgia Southern (0-9)

WHEN: Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2023 at 7:00 p.m. ET

WHERE: Food City Center at Thompson-Boling Arena, Knoxville, TN



Tennessee: G Zakai Ziegler, G Santiago Vescovi, G Josiah-Jordan James, F Dalton Knecht, F Jonas Aidoo

Georgia Southern: G Tyren Moore, G Eren Banks, F Eugene Brown III, F Nate Brafford, F Avantae Parker

SPREAD: Tennessee -34.5

Over/Under: 145.5

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee will play their third straight game at home with a matchup against the Georgia Southern Eagles. The last time out the Vols nabbed their biggest win of the season against No. 20 Illinois.

This was the Vols fourth contest against a rank opponent this season and they were finally able to get over the hump, pulling together one of their best performances of the season.

The offensive attack was very balanced, with all five starters scoring in double figures. Tonight, we will see the same starting five. It seems Tennessee head coach Rick Barnes has found his five. 

The country took notice, as the Volunteers rose from No. 17 to No. 12 in the top 25 national rankings.

Tonight’s opponent, Georgia Southern, is simply one of the worst opponents Tennessee will face all season. The Eagles have yet to win a game in their nine contests. Their average point differential this season is -14.3. That ranks 331 out of 362 division one teams.

The most alarming stats from this team is their assist to turnover ratio. Somehow they average 9.3 assists to 14.7 turnovers. That’s a 0.6 assist to turnover ratio. Only five teams in the country have a worse number. 

This is a game where Tenneessee’s defense could break records. 

Players to Watch


Jahmai Mashack put in work on the defensive side of the ball last game vs. Illinois. Tonight, expect him to be everywhere. If Georgia Southern fails to get any blow-bys on the perimeter, their playmaking will have to be drastically better than it has been all year. Mashack will be their first hurdle. 

We can always count on Jonas Aidoo on the defensive end, but recently his offensive game has taken strides, averaging 14.6 in his last three contests. Aidoo has been getting to the right spots and has looked comfortable showing off his jumper. Look for him to be an enforcer on both ends tonight.

Georgia Southern

Tyren Moore is the leading scorer for the eagles, putting up 11.9 points per game. His strength is his outside shooting, averaging 40% from deep on five attempts per game. It will be hard to get him open looks tonights, but look for Georgia Southern to run a lot of plays for him. 

Deuce Dean used to be in the starting lineup for the Eagles, but since last game, he has played the sixth man role. Dean is averaging the second most points for his team with 10. The senior also leads the team in assists with 2.6 per game.


Tennessee should easily handle Georgia Southern. This should be a game that is over with early and young guys get plenty of run.

Tennessee 84, Georgia Southern 41